The Nigerian government and her people have been at a discontented marriage for far too long. For the most, the people blame the government for bad governance, corruption, and negligence to their needs. The government, on the other hand, brand Nigerians as impatient, overly demanding, lazy, and also corrupt. There are a few things, however, that brings both parts together – a national celebration like the independence day.
Today, October 1, 2020, Nigeria is celebrating its 60th independence anniversary. The celebration which highlights more than just independence from colonial disintegration has evolved into a hypocritic celebration of Nigeria’s ‘oneness’.
On this year’s celebration, many have narrated how the government has failed and why there’s a need for accountability.
Social media is currently buzzing with trends like #NotIndependent #Nigeria60AndUseless, #NigeriaAt60, and a host of others. Trends that challenge the government on its failures especially with the recent news in the increased price of fuel and electricity tariff as well as the dying education sector.
The president, through his Twitter, highlighted a few points on why Nigerians should be less demanding and observe what is obtainable in other countries. He also used the medium to share reasons why certain developments have occurred in the past few weeks.
Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) October 1, 2020
On the increase in the price of fuel, Buhari had compared the prices of fuel in other African countries and Saudi Arabia. Pointing out that Nigeria has one of the cheapest prices of fuel in the world. His Tweet, as expected, created a chain of reaction on Twitter.
Today, Buhari justified his oil price surge by citing Saudi which charges N168 and said “It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.”
But he forgot to mention that the minimum wage in Saudi is R3,000 which is N305,126.
Pay N305,126. We’ll pay N168.
— Bulama Bukarti (@bulamabukarti) October 1, 2020
Minimum wage is Saudi Arabia is 3000 riyals and that’s over N300,000 sir. It makes sense to charge N168 per liter there but in Nigeria, minimum wage is N30,000. Does it make sense to charge N161 per liter?? https://t.co/KjYVWHd7BS
— The Hair Plug (@Msmenalicious) October 1, 2020
Minimum Wage in Saudi Arabia: 3000 Riyal = 305,805 Naira
Minimum Wage in Nigeria = 30,000
And your “president” says “alaye double your hustle, no be your mates dey pay?”
— 9jaSavage ✞ ✞ (@iam__remy) October 1, 2020
With the Kind of Social safety nets in Saudi Arabia and other gulf states, who's the idiot that wrote this speech?. Anyway… Congratulations to everyone involved. https://t.co/XNBGWc3rRG
— Ayobami Ayobami (@dondekojo) October 1, 2020
This comparison with Saudi Arabia and other countries really doesn't make sense. Do they buy fuel for generators everyday? Do they drive on bad roads? Our standard of living is NOT the same. Very irrational comparison.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 1, 2020
In plain terms…
Minimum Wage: Saudi Arabia has 3,000 Saudi riyals as the least amount of money to be paid to a person working in the public sector. Nigeria, on the other hand, has its minimum wage set to 30,000 Nigerian Naira. converting 3,000 Saudi riyals to Naira would give one 305,130 Naira.
Standard/cost of living: Many Nigerians would agree that there’s a struggle with almost everything concerning the government. Provisions of good road, infrastructure, power, food, jobs, and the list goes on. The standard of living in Nigeria is nothing compared to that in Saudi Arabia where there is free education, free healthcare, etc.
Buhari’s comparison may be coming from a misinformed angle. Where we have called for transparency and reasons backing government decisions, the least the government can do for Nigerians is a little research before making decisions or comparisons.
Michael is a dynamic writer who is still exploring the nuances of life and being human. When I’m not writing, I’m out with friends or spending nice time alone watching movies or TV Shows.
Michael is available on Twitter and Instagram @TheMichaelFaya